Future cars may eliminate need for traffic lights

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (WIVB) — Waiting at red lights may become a thing of the past. In fact, traffic lights may disappear altogether.

Cars that will be on the road in a few years may eliminate the need for them.

Instead of stopping for red lights, sensors would allow cars to do a carefully choreographed ballet around each other and through intersections.

The study from Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Senseable City Lab suggests this would allow twice as many vehicles to use the existing roads.

Scientists used mathematical modeling to see how this might work.

Two things would have to happen: Self-driving cars would need to communicate with each other. They call that vehicle-to-vehicle technology. The vehicles would also need to communicate with a traffic network.

Traffic patterns could be controlled by slots. Intelligent intersections would change direction based on demand.

The MIT teams say this could improve emissions and save fuel because we would be accelerating less.

MORE | See the math behind the traffic study here.

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